Nikon Df Review

Nikon Df Review

After the shock that Nikon gave us a few teaser videos in the lead-up to its announcement, perhaps the most surprising thing about the Df is that Nikon has opted for a 16.2 million-pixel FX (full-frame) CMOS sensor. This comes after the shock that Nikon treated us to a few teaser videos in the lead-up to its announcement.

It’s possible that some people had their hopes set on a sensor with 24.3 megapixels, similar to the Nikon D610, or a sensor with 36.3 megapixels, identical to the Nikon D800. Still, Nikon has decided to employ the same sensor as in the Nikon D4.

On the other hand, the photosites on a 16-megapixel sensor are more extensive, so they take in more light and produce a stronger signal, both of which require less amplification than a lower-resolution sensor would. This is one advantage of going with a 16-megapixel sensor. Consequently, less noise is produced, resulting in more explicit images.

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Nikon Df 16.2 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body (Gold Edition)...

Last update was on: May 29, 2023 4:31 am

Nikon Df Build Quality

The Df is substantially more compact than the D4, even though it is very hefty. It has a more angular design that is claimed to be based on the FM2 and is around the same size as the D610.

Unfortunately, the Df was released simultaneously with the Sony A7 and A7R, which feature full-frame sensors but are substantially smaller than the Df’s sensor. Nevertheless, even though these cameras have a vintage appearance and control structure, they are tiny system cameras, meaning they do not have a mirror and instead use an electronic viewfinder.

While it is evident that the Nikon df is related to earlier models of Nikon SLR cameras, the camera’s use of contemporary materials and subtle design details reveal that it is a more recent model. It has a classic look while weather-protected to the same level as the Nikon D800. However, it is necessary to note that the faux-leather covering on the pentaprism housing gives off an unprofessional and perhaps inexpensive appearance.

Nikon wants the Df experience to be as meaningful and pleasurable as the photographs it produces. Therefore, the dials on the top plate let the user adjust essential variables such as the shutter speed, sensitivity, and exposure compensation. On the other hand, the shutter speed dial features a 1/3 Step option that, when activated, allows users to alter shutter speed by using the rear command dial that is located above the thumb rest.

Before either dial may be rotated, you must click a locking button in the middle of the exposure compensation dial. Similarly, a lock button is located on the side of the sensitivity dial, which may be found below the exposure compensation dial.

You will quickly become used to utilizing them, even though they may appear fussy initially. However, the little exposure mode dial, labeled with the letters M, A, S, and P, can be difficult to operate since it needs to be elevated before it can be rotated. In addition, it is difficult to grip, especially when one’s fingers are cold.

Additionally, a lock button is located in the middle of the shutter speed dial on the right side of the top plate. However, this button is inactive unless the control is turned to 1/3, X, or T positions.

Even though the dial may freely revolve when set to one of the shutter speeds or B (Bulb), it remains in place and is not easily knocked out of position. Furthermore, even though it does not have a lock, we discovered that the drive mode dial below the dial that controls the shutter speed tends to keep its position very well.

Nikon Df Performance

It was always a safe bet that Nikon’s top-of-the-line digital single-lens reflex camera, the D4, would be a solid performance, and it doesn’t fail. The Df has the same sensor and image processor as the D4. As a result, the images show good detail, and the noise has been effectively reduced.

According to the results of our tests, the JPEGs that the Df produces have noise levels that Df produced by the D4. In contrast, the raw files built by the Df (after being converted to TIFF using Nikon’s Capture NX) have a lower signal-to-noise ratio, indicating more visible noise. However, the Df can also capture more detail in both file types when set to a higher sensitivity setting than usual.

Even when the sensitivity is pushed to ISO 12,800, noise is managed exceptionally well, and images taken at ISO 25,600 are pretty respectable, with some even looking acceptable when enlarged to A3 size.

However, we recommend exercising extreme caution when increasing the ISO above this point because doing so causes noise to become more noticeable. Certain regions of photographs shot at ISO 102,400 and 204,800 exhibit some banding and have a magenta tint.

These settings go beyond the natural sensitivity range, which suggests that Nikon isn’t pleased with the quality of its images. Therefore, it is recommended that you only use them in extreme circumstances.

When time permits, live View offers the optimum View for manual focusing since the magnified View makes it possible to position the focus point accurately. However, as was to be expected, the live View autofocusing technology of the Df is not the camera’s strongest suit.

When the light levels are high, it moves very quickly, but it becomes rather sluggish and unsure when they are low. However, we have a sneaking suspicion that very few users of the Df will be bothered about this because they are more likely to frame their shots using the viewfinder or to focus manually when using the live view mode.

When we tested the Df’s 39-point Multi-CAM 4800 AF module, we found that it performed exceptionally well when paired with the appropriate lens. Subjects are brought rapidly into crisp focus even in meager light when an optic such as the excellent AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II is in place, and the camera can track them across the frame.

However, suppose you change to a lens with a focal length of AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 D or a lens with a focal length comparable to this one. In that case, you will notice that things slow down a little, mainly if the peripheral linear (Non-cross-type) points are employed.

Nikon Df Image Quality

It combines an outstanding sensor with a well-worked JPEG engine, which means it can be relied on to capture exceptionally great photographs. Image quality is the Df’s strong point. The dynamic range is excellent, mainly when used at low ISO, but the performance at high ISO is currently unrivaled.

The image quality of the Df is identical to that of the company’s flagship D4, which makes it one of the most versatile cameras now available. However, its benefit over other modern full-frame cameras is relatively slight. Some users may discover that they’d rather tolerate a small loss in high ISO performance for the extra flexibility that a higher pixel count might bring.

Nikon Df Specs

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution4928 x 3280
Other resolutionsFX: 3696 x 2456, 2464 x 1640; DX crop: 3200 x 2128, 2400 x 1592, 1600 x 1064
Image ratio w h3:2
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 3
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100 – 12800
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (4 spots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File formatJPEG (EXIF 2.3)RAW (NEF)TIFF
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View.
Autofocus assist lampNo
Number of focus points39
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD
Live ViewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.7×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgram AutoShutter PriorityAperture PriorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or PC sync)
Flash modesAuto FP High-speed sync, front-curtain sync, rear-curtain sync, redeye reduction,
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingle-frame continuous high continuous low mirror-upQuiet shutter self-timer
Continuous drive5.5 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10, or 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (2, 3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (2 or 3 shots in 1/3 or 1/2-stop intervals)
Videography features
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Wireless notesvia WU-1a wireless mobile adapter
Remote controlYes (Cable release, wireless remote)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL14/EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1400
Weight (inc. batteries)760 g (1.68 lb / 26.81 oz)
Dimensions144 x 110 x 67 mm (5.67 x 4.33 x 2.64″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPS notesvia GP-1 or GP-1A adapter

Final Verdict

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Nikon Df 16.2 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body (Gold Edition)...

Last update was on: May 29, 2023 4:31 am

After years of rumors and speculation that Nikon will introduce a full-frame camera with a classic design and Nikon’s teaser campaign in the lead-up to its unveiling, the Df has understandably been met with a fair amount of enthusiasm.

Even though its sensor “only” has 16 megapixels, the Df has exceptional low-light performance, which may easily make up for this shortcoming. Admittedly, it might not be able to resolve as much information as the Nikon D800, which has 36 million pixels. However, it can be utilized in dark settings and still produce good pictures.

Many professional photographers who use the D4 have found that a pixel count of 16 million is sufficient for their needs. In addition, this pixel count has the added benefit of producing images requiring significantly less space on a hard drive and less processing power from a computer when edited.

Nikon Df FAQs

What is Nikon Df used for?

The Nikon Df is a full-frame DSLR camera with a vintage design intended to appeal to photographers who place a high value on traditional settings and a conventional appearance and feel. As a result, it is frequently utilized for various photographic applications, such as portraiture, landscape photography, and even street photography.

Is The Nikon Df full-frame?

To answer your question, the Nikon Df is a camera with a full-frame sensor with 16.2 million pixels.

Is Nikon Df weather sealing?

The Nikon Df has a weather-sealed body, making it impervious to dust and dampness.

Does Nikon Df have WiFi?

No, the Nikon Df does not come with an integrated WiFi connection.

Does Nikon Df have Bluetooth?

Unfortunately, the Nikon Df does not come with an integrated Bluetooth connection.

Does the Nikon Df have autofocus?

There is an autofocus function on the Nikon Df, and it includes some more advanced tasks like facial recognition and subject tracking.

Is Nikon Df touchscreen?

Unfortunately, the Nikon Df does not have a monitor that can be touched.

Is Nikon Df good for weddings?

Because of its high image quality, sophisticated autofocus system, and capacity to produce high-quality photos in various lighting conditions, the Nikon Df can be a good option for photographing weddings. But, again, this is because of its high image quality.

Is the Nikon Df worth it?

The Nikon Df may or may not be worth the investment depending on the user’s specific requirements and inclinations. However, photographers who want a full-frame DSLR camera with conventional settings and a timeless appearance and feel should seriously consider purchasing this model.

Is Nikon Df entry-level?

Although the Nikon Df is not an entry-level camera in terms of its price or features, it is a viable option for more seasoned photographers looking for a full-frame DSLR that combines a traditional and elegant design with cutting-edge capabilities in a single device.



Paul is a highly experienced journalist and the editor of DSLRCameraSearch. With a background in the photographic industry since 2017, he has worked with notable clients such as . Paul's expertise lies in camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, and industry news. His work has been featured in renowned publications including . He is also a respected workshop host, speaker Photography Shows. Paul's passion for photography extends to his love for Sony, Canon, Olympus cameras.

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